Statements by HHS Secretary Becerra, Dr. Levine, CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure Celebrating Women's Equality Day on August 26, 2021

2 years ago

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure issued the following statements to celebrate Women's Equality Day and recommit to advancing women's health:

"We celebrate champions of women's equality in all walks of life. Women's health is integral to women's rights - and the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring health equity for all. We will continue to advance health care services, including maternal health, and fund programs that expand access to care for women." - U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Xavier Becerra

"Women's Equality Day has its roots in women's right to vote. In addition to helping elect our public officials, we can each cast the deciding vote for our own health—by getting the COVID-19 vaccine." - U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Rachel Levine

"Women cannot reach true equality without the equal opportunity to lead healthy lives. On this Women's Equality Day, we reflect on the progress we've made and recommit ourselves to the work ahead to advance in equity particularly when it comes to our health. The Affordable Care Act expanded essential health benefits for women and the Biden-Harris administration is building on that foundation by investing in maternal health to ensure equitable access to care. Medicaid provides coverage for 1 in 5 women who are of reproductive age and we will continue to work to ensure that coverage is accessible and comprehensive. At CMS, alongside our colleagues across HHS and the Biden-Harris Administration, we are working to improve the health of low-income mothers and reduce racial health disparities as we work to make equality a reality for all." - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure

Facts Highlighting Health Care Progress for Women:

  • Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Marketplace plans cover preventive services at no cost to women (this includes mammograms, well-woman visits, and breastfeeding support).
  • The uninsured rate among women decreased 39% from 2010 to 2019, down to 9.8%.
  • The American Rescue Plan made it easier for states to extend Medicaid eligibility beyond 60 days and up to 12 months postpartum in 2022.
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) made $12 million available over four years for the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program, addressing unmet needs for rural communities' target populations.
  • Over 500,000 women received HRSA funded prenatal care in 2020.
  • 16.4 million female patients were served by those HRSA-funded health centers in 2020.
Infographic of a group of diverse women. Visit to learn more about preventive services for women.
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